I decided to intern at Americans United because I wanted to learn more about communications and I wanted to be involved in a cause that I am passionate about. Separation of church and state is an important issue to me and I wanted to be able to promote it while growing professionally.
Yesterday, during his National Day of Prayer ceremony in the White House Rose Garden, President Donald Trump continued his assault on religious freedom by signing an executive order. In a speech that reads more like a fake viral email than a presidential address, Donald Trump substituted showmanship for sincerity: While claiming to protect religious liberty, he trampled it.
Tomorrow is the National Day of Prayer (NDP), an annual event that is, to speak frankly, annoying to many of us who support the separation of church and state.
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is a Religious Right group founded to oppose marriage equality. The Supreme Court upheld that concept in 2015, so NOM has closed up shop, right?
Well, no. Since that defeat, NOM has kept busy doing other things – like trying to make the United States more like Russia.
U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and U.S. Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) today introduced the Equality Act, which would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination. It builds on our nation’s tradition of expanding civil-rights protections to ensure that more of our neighbors are protected from discrimination based on who they are.
On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Education released a study showing that students in the Washington, D.C., private school voucher program perform worse academically than students who are not in the program. Yet, just four days later, Congress released its budget deal, which includes language to renew the program through 2019.
The State of Alabama could soon give a megachurch its own police force – a move that many religious freedom advocates, including Americans United, have pointed out would not only be unprecedented but also unconstitutional.
Tomorrow is President Donald J. Trump’s 100th day in office. Although he campaigned on his 100-day “Contract with the American Voter,” he no longer seems enthusiastic about the milestone. Perhaps that’s because he is facing criticism for failing to achieve any major legislative victories. One thing he has accomplished: He has caused real harm to religious freedom and has made promises to do even more.
The Department of Education just released a new study of the Washington, D.C., school voucher program. And the findings confirm what we’ve known for years: The program doesn’t improve students’ academic achievement. In fact, it has resulted in statistically significant negative impacts on student test scores.
My late father was drafted into the Army at the tail end of World War II. With action in Europe and the Pacific winding down, he was shipped to the emerging hotspot of Korea. He once told me a story about how chaplains on the transport ship would announce religious services: Catholics were told to go to one side of the boat and Protestants to the other.
“What about the soldiers who were neither?” I asked.
My dad shrugged. “I guess nobody thought about them.”